There is hope when the nation acknowledges it failings and pledges to renew a sacred commitment to the common good.
The social justice office and the leadership of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield issued a statement today pledging their prayer, energies, and “collective desire for national healing and renewal” in a statement issued today responding to the crisis of leadership unfolding in our nation’s capital.
Today “people in the United States awoke to a new reality—but not one without hope,” the statement begins.
“Hope is what happens to us when we realize we are at the limit of our individual human powers to find a solution for a challenge,” said Sister Rebecca Ann Gemma, the prioress general of the Dominican Sisters. “Our offer of prayer is not the end, but the beginning of our individual and corporate contributions to building an equitable and just democratic republic. We start by begging God’s help.”
The statement says the mob assault on the Capitol yesterday was the consequence of years of erosion of a commitment to truth and civil rights in the nation. “The assault on truth and the democratic rule of law at the U.S. Congress on January 6 revealed the depths to which a nation can fall when its leaders are blinded by hunger for privilege and power at the expense of their own dignity, the dignity of all its people, and the common good,” it says.
“The attack on Congress has revealed the racist systems that underlie our practice of democracy,” said Sister Marcelline Koch, who heads the Dominican Sisters justice office and is co-coordinator of SDART, the congregation’s antiracism team. “What we see clearly, we can heal. There is much to be done. I encourage everyone to join in the work.”
The full text of the statement follows.
Statement of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield
Regarding the January 6, 2021, Mob Assault on Congress and Its Consequences
On January 7th people in the United States awoke to a new reality—but not one without hope. It is possible now, for all of us to see as clearly as we ever have the fault lines that divide our nation. We firmly believe it is also possible to heal them.
The assault on truth and the democratic rule of law at the U.S. Congress on January 6 revealed the depths to which a nation can fall when its leaders are blinded by hunger for privilege and power at the expense of their own dignity, the dignity of all its people, and the common good. The violent mob-action that breached barely-secured walls of the Capitol was a frightening and predictable consequence of years of assault on truth, the Constitution, civil rights, and democracy itself.
What we witnessed January 6 in our most sacred civic space has revealed an urgent need to forge a path for the renewal of our sacred bonds as members of a nation whose highest ideals—if we are honest—have never yet in our nation’s story been equitably made available to all.
As citizens of our beloved nation and women vowed to serve the truth of God’s infinite love for all creation, we offer our prayers, our energies, and our collective desire for national healing and renewal. When we as a nation acknowledge our historic failings and recommit our energies toward assuring sacred treasured rights for all, we can begin anew the process of building a republic of citizens, recognizing one another as a people, indivisible, who uphold our common desire for liberty and justice for all.